Norman Baker leaves the Big Lemon after just ten months because of itchy feet

Posted On 10 Jan 2018 at 2:39 pm

Just ten months after joining the Big Lemon, former Lewes MP Norman Baker is off to pursue a range of other interests including journalism, a music album and a top secret new book.

Norman Baker and Tom Druitt

Mr Baker joined the Brighton bus company in March last year, and says he has already achieved what he set out to do there.

This includes winning new contracts, doubling the size of the team, helping launch the UK’s first solar-powered electric bus and winning Most Sustainable Business at the Sussex Business Awards.

Mr Baker said: “I felt that I had done what I could do with the Big Lemon. I had 18 years of being an MP and after that it was quite difficult for me to do the same thing every day. I loved the Big Lemon but ultimately it’s the variety of a portfolio career I want. I have been spoiled being an MP.

“I’ve had a series of meetings with newspapers about doing columns and a discussion with someone at International Development about helping developing countries.

“I’m renewing my interest in transport columns and I’m busy revisiting the two books I have been working on. One of them is secret – the other one is a companion piece to my last book, Against the Grain. This will be a lighthearted memoir about other things I have done, observations at British Rail and the record business, an easy light read.

“I’ve got a new record coming out in April – it’s got myself with the West Pier on the cover so it’s a Brighton record.”

Tom Druitt, the Big Lemon’s founder and CEO, said “I would like to thank Norman for his huge contribution to the Big Lemon this last year.

“He has taken the organisation to the next level and we now have the opportunity to grow our impact far beyond what was previously possible. I wish Norman all the very best of luck in his future endeavours.”

  1. Marc Reply

    Why do you fill up with ordinarily diesel then? And don’t say you don’t as Ikniw you do! Not so eco friendly as you claim to be Big Lemon

    • avangelist Reply

      The fleet runs a multitude of fuels – except diesel. All the engines have been converted to run on converted fats and oil waste.

      so I don’t think you’re entirely right marc, wouldn’t it be better to ask the big lemon rather than commenting on an article they’re unlikely to read?

  2. Mark Wakefield Reply

    Optare Solo’s use a Mercedes engine which cannot run on chip fat so they run it on conventional diesel.

  3. Tom Druitt Reply

    Our coach fleet runs on 100% biodiesel; the bus fleet used to run 100% biodiesel too but as mentioned above the newer buses cannot run on it so we are converting them to run on electric instead. The plan is to convert the whole bus fleet to electric, two are already done and there are seven left to do this year (and yes, while they’re waiting for conversion sadly they can only run on diesel). The main problem is that it takes about a year to get an electric bus,
    (6 months to raise the money and another 6 months to build or convert the vehicle), but the new routes we won last year only came with ten days notice to start. So there had to be a transition arrangement. However this year we’re doing a big investment round to raise the money needed to convert the remaining seven – if you want to get involved please let Anna our friendly finance manager know: 🙂
    All the best
    The Big Lemon

    • Geoff Reply

      If it takes a year to get an electric bus why on earth did you bid for the council funded routes, knowing that you cannot deliver what the community expect from Big Lemon? Do not act like you were given 10 days notice to start, you obviously put an application together with the intention of getting the routes. I also wonder how you also won the Council contract over Compass Travel? Oh hang on, you are a councillor aren’t you?

  4. J inger Reply

    I can tell you all now as an ex driver for the big lemon they are committed to the community and the invironment please remember the electric busses cost a lot of money Marc you are wrong and I would urge you to go and see the big lemon they are transparent and what you see is what you get it’s irritating when someone is doing good others want to rain on their parade don’t you think as an ex driver I might have something bad to say but can’t find a single thing get a life guys if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say it at all…….

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